“Today” co-host Jenna Bush Hager and Ben Spector (“Land of Women”) will executive produce through their first-look deal at Universal Studios Group.
Hailing from author Jamie Ford, the novel follows former poet laureate Dorothy Moy who tackles her emotional issues by channeling her dissociative episodes and mental health struggles into her art. According to a release, Moy suddenly finds herself having to confront her past “when her five-year-old daughter exhibits similar behavior and begins remembering things from the lives of their ancestors.”
“Fearing that her child is predestined to endure the same debilitating depression that has marked her own life, Dorothy seeks radical help,” the release continues. “Through an experimental treatment designed to mitigate inherited trauma, Dorothy intimately connects with past generations of women in her family. As painful recollections affect her present life, Dorothy discovers that trauma isn’t the only thing she’s inherited. A stranger is searching for her in each time period. A stranger who’s loved her through all of her genetic memories.”
The novel was also named the No. 1 Indie Next List pick for August 2022.
“’The Many Daughters of Afong Moy’ took my breath away — from the complex women, to the incredible worlds, and the spanning of decades,” Bush Hager said in a statement. “It is a book about what we carry, and it is a book about love in a time when our world needs it more than ever. I’m honored to be part of adapting Jamie Ford’s brilliant novel for the screen.”
“I am beyond excited to be working with Jenna Bush Hager, Ben Spector, and UCP to develop ‘Many Daughters’ into a series,” said Ford. “Jenna comes from a long line of book lovers and is a tireless advocate for books, literature and story. I can hardly think of anyone better to extend that passion into TV. Plus, my Chinese grandfather was an extra in Hollywood in the 30s and 40s, appearing in 300+ movies. I just know he’s smiling right now!”
Ford’s debut novel, “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to win the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature.